By Abdulaziz Salisu
The Nigerian Army has demoted two soldiers, Bature Samuel and Abdulazeez Usman of 302 Artillery Regiment General Support, from the ranks of corporal to the ranks of private soldiers respectively.
The two soldiers were filmed in full public glare on February 7 beating a physically-challenged man, Chijioke Orakwu, near New Market road in Onitsha for wearing camouflage dress.
Earlier, the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army donated some clothing materials and cash to Mr Orakwu as gesture to show its commitment to protection of human rights.
A statement by the spokesman of the army, Sani Usman, said the two soldiers faced summery trial and were sentenced to 21 days imprisonment with hard labour.
He added that the duo would lose their 21 days salaries.
“Sequel to the video clip of two soldiers maltreating a physically challenged man on the streets of Onitsha, Anambra State, last Tuesday, in line with our zero tolerance of infringement of human rights by troops, those involved; Corporal Bature Samuel and Corporal Abdulazeez Usman of 82 Provost Company, have been arrested, summarily tried based on 2 count charges and found guilty.
“Consequently, both have been sentenced to reduction in rank; from Corporal to Private Soldiers and 21 days Imprisonment with Hard Labour (IHL) respectively, which includes forfeiture of 21 days pay to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“The Nigerian Army has also reached out to the victim of their unjustifiable assault, Mr. Chijoke Uraku (alias CJ), as widely reported by the media.
“We wish to reiterate our avowed determination to ensure that troops conduct themselves in the most orderly and professional manner at all times. Any act of indiscipline would not be tolerated,” Mr Usman, a brigadier general, said in the statement.